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The paranormal misinformation highway promoted by Paranormal TV shows

   Many times people will call me or ask for my help and be quite upset when I tell them that what they are telling me, or the photo they sent me, is not indicative of a haunting in their home.  They will get angry with me and tell me that they know it is real, because they learned about it on TV. They will disregard my 35 years of experience to believe what they were told or shown, on a para reality show that led them to believe they are haunted. Why? Well, what people do not know is that these shows are not educational at all. Most of the novice layman para teams that you see on shows such as My ghost story, The haunted, and many others, got on the show by answering an email asking for cases to show on their TV show, and many teams will jump at the chance for that 15 minutes of fame.

  Most para teams out there will give their left arm to get on TV, as they think it makes them seem credible. Neither the team nor the client who goes on the show gets paid a dime, most of the time. The producers and directors of these shows just want to entertain and they have no concern for offering real information. The real veteran researchers stay away from the shows because they know that in the real paranormal world appearing on these ridiculous and less than credible shows will destroy their reputation with the real para researchers that they consider their colleagues. Another problem with bringing real seasoned researchers on the TV show is that they will not present things that have long been known to be invalid as proof of paranormal activity, which makes for a somewhat boring TV show. They also will not subject their clients to the exploitation of these shows. This is because they are true professionals who are more concerned with their work, and their clients than they are with notoriety or a TV appearance. The worst thing about this para craze TV business, is that these shows promote wrong and irresponsible information at times, which is often bordering on the ridiculous. Unfortunately some people believe it. At times I watch these shows and shake my head because some of them are just so bad, that they have become the misinformation highway of paranormal entertainment. For example:

  Several of these shows show photos of ORBS and say that this means spirits are present.  Real researchers learned long ago that orbs are everywhere and most are explainable as the result of dust, humidity and camera artifact. Even a real orb, would not mean there is a haunting because orbs have never been proven to be ghosts. Orbs have been showing up in so many photos since the invention of the digital camera, but there are many technical reasons for this, not paranormal reasons.  {Cell phones are notorious for false anomalies because there are almost always finger smudges on the lens of that phone, because they are handled constantly and not often cleaned before taking photos.} One recent TV show carried it even further calling some orbs "designer orbs" implying that they featured faces of the dead. Some of the investigators on these shows take it one step further saying the face looked "demonic." This is all for ratings.

   Many of these shows are filled with the same catch phrases such as "I knew it was evil."  "It was demonic!" " I was terrified!" "When I saw that photo, [ usually an orb} I knew there was something paranormal in the home." Many of the shows use the old standby flashlight trick. This is when you take a certain kind of flashlight with a very unstable trigger to turn it off and on and rig it up to turn off and on by the slightest vibration. They then ask the ghost to turn the flashlight off and on, and of course it always happens. Again show biz and parlor tricks. I have tested this flashlight trick myself and it is easy to pull off, but it does not mean there is a ghost causing it at all. What worked on one show is often imitated on the other ones. Many of these shows use the K2 meter because it is the easiest to trip by just about any stimulus whatsoever. This makes for a good show of supposed electromagnetic fields or a demonstration of how the ghost makes the meter go off on command. Again show biz tricks. Most serious researchers stay away from this meter because they know it to be unreliable and unstable for measuring true electromagnetic fields. They usually use much more accurate and sophisticated meters for this purpose. Some do not use meters at all because these fields have never been proven to represent spirit activity in the first place.

  Matrixing  is responsible for 80 percent of supposed faces seen in photos.  Matrixing refers to complex patterns and shapes seen in photos as orbs, shadows or mists that form an image of a face or figure. Most mist photos are the result of humidity or a smudge on the camera lens.You'll see something like a face in a photo but the face is actually  formed from several parts of other items and shadows and is not really what it looks like. The human brain is wired to recognize certain shapes and patterns as faces so sometimes the more you look at a a supposed anomaly in a photo, the more it looks like a real face even though it's not even a singular image. We are just geared to do this and people can matrix faces in everything from wood grain, to fabric you name it. Yet the TV shows feature supposed "investigators" who validate these things leading everyone to believe that all the  faces that they may matrix in a photo are ghosts.

  TV shows present things that no real researcher would ever present as paranormal. For example one show showed three pictures of a hair on the lens and claimed it was a ghost flying around the room. I have seen camera strap photos on TV that they said were vortexes. Any seasoned investigator would know immediately  the true nature of these photos, yet they are presented on television as an example of genuine paranormal activity, by people who claim to be real paranormal investigators. This is not science this is TV sensationalism and you just can not believe everything you see or hear on these shows as being real. 

  The grand prize for misinformation goes to another show where an investigator actually showed a photo of an insect on film at night in a cemetery and said straight faced that it was a "ghost of a bug." How can anyone take this seriously? This is basically insulting the viewers intelligence. These TV show investigators make sometimes make statements such as "A portal opened up in this woman's living room." First of all there is no way to prove such a portal even exists let alone that they can pop up in your living room. Now some impressionable viewers may assume that this can happen to them in their home and the paranoia runs wild. I think this is just horrible and that these shows breed fear and spout so much misinformation that they are actually detrimental to the entire para field at large, making us all look like idiots. They also make the real researchers have to deal with discredit, and a hostile reception, when they do not confirm this nonsense that people see on TV and believe to be real true  information. These shows usually have no disclaimers or state that they are entertainment based, so people assume them to be reality. This is why the general public is so confused and misguided about paranormal events.

  Many of these shows are over dramatized and often feature supposed mediums who put on a great  and dramatic performance, while implying all kinds of terrible experiences with the supposed ghost. These people emote and throw themselves around claiming the ghost attacked them and they always seem to find the very spirits present, that can be backed up by the historical research of the home. {Because they had this information given to them before going on the show} This is just show business folks. Most of the supposed mediums you see on the para shows are just actresses or the self proclaimed medium from a novice para team, that answered the show's cast call email, that wanted to get on TV. Thousands of people all over the world make claims of being a medium but of those thousands at least 80 percent are frauds, delusional or just very good actors. Real mediums seldom even want to be on TV. They do not use their gift for their own gain or personal notoriety. Just because someone on a TV show claims to be a medium does not mean he or she is in fact gifted in that way at all. The shows are most often scripted, with everything planned out and coached before the show ever airs. I get email requests from at least four TV shows a year asking me to provide cases for their TV show to exploit. I turn them all down, because I know  most of them are little more than a circus of fear, superstition that is feeding the current paranormal craze.

 

  These TV shows make the real researchers job twice as hard as they have to spend so much time explaining why these things are just not valid and that the shows are built on sensationalism and outright nonsense at times. Before you send a photo to an investigator or claim to be haunted because you saw something on TV, do some real research and find the people in the field with the most experience and years in the trenches. See what they have to say on some of these things at their websites. Don't buy into the misinformation highway. Get some real information and education from a real veteran researcher that does real photo analysis and who is grounded in rationality.